By Devin Partida
Online education has already made many advancements in the past year. With more schools than ever going online, it’s important to think about new ways to engage your students and keep them learning at the top of their game, even without the benefit of an in-person classroom.
While learning online may not have all the same features of an in-person school, there’s a lot you can do to make the experience beneficial for all your students.
Between the opportunities for learning new material and using the flexible time and resources to learn in new creative formats, you can do many things in a virtual classroom beyond lectures and individual assignments and tests. Especially in uncertain times, school can shift to accommodate the students’ needs and attention levels. You may just find that they learn best with a bit of change and a little fun.
Here are six effective ways to create engagement during online learning:
1. Doing Presentations
Presentations are a great way to encourage student engagement both while they present and while they absorb information and watch their peers. Especially in STEM subjects, the ability to research, experiment independently and teach others can give students a more nuanced and deeper understanding of whatever subject they’re exploring.
2. Building In Group Activities
Another fantastic way to get students to engage more in online classes is by building group activities into the curriculum. Like any audience, sometimes students need a bit of prompting and community interaction before they feel fully ready to get involved, and group activities are a great way to do this. Plus, online learning platforms often enable individuals to break off into groups for more efficient learning.
3. Learning Something Different
Sometimes one of the easiest ways to get students involved is introducing new materials into the classroom setting, especially with STEM subjects. For example, you can connect tech subjects that students are learning about to real-life scenarios by talking about how tech will impact the world for years to come.
Or, you try coding in your classroom. You can even ask your students what they’d like to learn about and allow them to guide the lesson.
4. Practicing Relaxation and Self-Care
A great way to boost engagement and learning is to actually take a step back from the workload and show you care about your students. You should also help them understand they should care about themselves, too. Giving activities and assignments to encourage self-care and allowing for rest and flexibility can often positively impact classroom engagement. Healthy students are more likely to succeed and be motivated.
5. Playing Learning Games
While some people may think games are for young kids, students of all ages can get interested in learning games. Like presentations and group activities, these projects encourage students to jump in and participate. Games also introduce subjects and concepts in a new and creative way, which can help students better understand the material.
6. Letting Students Lead
Another great way to encourage students to be engaged with the material you’re teaching is to simply ask for their input. When you teach material they find fun, you’ll likely get a better response from them. Try giving surveys to vote on the subject of the next unit or have an anonymous suggestion box. That way, you can control input gracefully.
Creating Genuine Student Engagement Online
There are many creative ways to get students involved and engaged in online learning environments. It’s all about listening to them and inviting them to participate. From games to self-care, you can find ideas that work in your classroom. Every group of students is different, and that’s a part of the beauty of learning.
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